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State Exam

Minnesota requires all applicants for licensure to pass a 1 hour 20 minute, 34-item, multiple choice open book exam testing candidate ability to research and interpret Minnesota Statutes and Rules pertaining to operation of a Minnesota nursing home. Information on ordering the Rules and Statutes books to study for the state examination is found below. Examinees will use the board provided statutes and rules books with index for the examination. You must have an active application for Minnesota licensure on file with the board to be eligible to take the state exam. A state exam application will be sent when your license application is received. See our Fees page under Statutes and Rules tab at top of page.

Scheduled State Exams occur on the 2nd Thursday every two months at 10:00 a.m.* The dates for 2017 are as follows:

  • July 13, 2017
  • September 14, 2017
  • November 9, 2017

A current Application for Licensure, Exam Application, and all applicable fees must be received in the office be registered for the exam.

Important Notice to Applicants Regarding Exams

On December 5, 2016, a provision in Minnesota Rules 6400.6100 went into effect to include additional preparation after multiple exam attempts:

6400.6100 APPLYING FOR LICENSURE. Subp. 4. Examination attempts and score expiration.

A. If an applicant does not pass the NAB or state examination on the second attempt, the applicant must submit to the board a study plan and wait six months from the date of the examination attempt to sit for the examination a third time. If an applicant does not pass the NAB or state examination on the third attempt, the applicant must submit a revised study plan and wait one year from the date of the third examination attempt to sit for the examination a fourth time. The applicant may also be required to reapply in order to comply with subpart 3.

B. Examination scores expire two years after the date the examination was taken if the applicant has not become fully licensed within that two years.

Applicants are encouraged to complete the practice exams available and acquire and review study material listed on the NAB website.  Links to flash cards used to prepare for the NAB exam can be found on the final page of the NAB AIT Program Manual. This document is also a useful tool to plan practicum with each individual preceptor.

Individuals preparing to take the State Exam are encouraged to review each text at least twice and become acquainted with the index in both books.  The objective of the open book State exam is for the applicant to become familiar with the State Rules and Statutes and feel comfortable referencing  the material from the provided texts.

You may order State Exam study materials online at Minnesota's Bookstore.

Minnesota's Bookstore

You will need BOTH the Laws and Rules books listed below. Order online or call 651-297-3000 to order by phone with a credit card.  



Department of Health. MN Rules Chapters 4605, 4620, 4658, and 6800. Includes rules governing communicable diseases, health care facility regulations, licensing, administration and operation, resident rights, and more.
Stock Number: 152 Price: 13.95 Publisher: Minnesota's Bookstore Year: 2011 Pages: 134 Binding: Soft cover, color of cover may vary


Department of Health. MN Statutes Chapters 144.05-.703, 144A.01-.611, 144D.01-.07, 145B.01-.17, 145C.01-.16, and 626.52-.5573. Topics addressed include: the Clean Indoor Air Act, hospitalization, nursing home admission contracts, subacute care waivers, patient bill of rights and health care cost information.
Stock Number: 108 Price: 20.95 Publisher: Minnesota's Bookstore Year: 2016 Pages: 205 Binding: Soft cover,color of cover may vary

For additional questions, please visit the  Exam FAQs  page .

MN BENHA State Exam - Next Date, September 14, 2017

A current licensure and exam application must be on file with the office to be eligible to sit for the exam.  Applications sent by fax or email will not be accepted. 

NAB Exam

Minnesota, with all 50 states and DC, requires its licensees to successfully complete the examination developed by the National Association of Boards of Examiners for Long Term Care Administrators - the NAB exam. It is a 150-item multiple choice test covering the Domains of Practice:

  • customer care, supports and services 
  • human resources
  • finance
  • physical environment & atmosphere
  • leadership and management

You must have an active application for licensure on file with the state licensing board to be eligible to take the NAB exam. Information about how to apply for the NAB exam will be sent after BENHA receives your application and the $150 fee to begin the licensure process. Registration for the NAB exam, which is computer-based,is online, so an email address is required. Once approval is granted by the Minnesota Board, authorization is officially emailed to you by PES, with an authorization number and directions to contact a PROFESSIONAL EXAMINATION SERVICE/PSI site to schedule your exam.

Visit NAB for more information regarding the exam and to download the NAB exam handbook.  The new, online NAB exam study guide is now available.  The guide covers the NAB Core exam and each of the line of service exams (NHA, RCAL, and HCBS) an can be purchased for $150.


Still have question about the State or NAB Exams? Visit the State and NAB Exams FAQs Page!

Residential Care/Assisted Living Administrator Exam

The RC/AL exam is not accepted for licensure in Minnesota, rather, it is a voluntary, entry-level competency examination for individuals who provide leadership in senior housing.


You must be a Minnesota resident in order to have your application for the RC/AL Exam be approved by the Minnesota Board.

Register online using the link at left.

  1. Complete the Examination Application and pay the fee by credit card.
  2. Once approval is granted by the Minnesota board, authorization is officially emailed to you by PES. PES provides an authorization number and directions to contact a Prometric-Sylvan Learning Center to schedule your exam.


The National Association of Boards (NAB) provides a Residential Care/Assisted Living Administrators Licensing Examination Handbook available free of charge and various study guides can be purchased. The handbook and study guide are available under Exams using the web site link at left.

Historical Context of Residential Care/Assisted Living Exam Agreement

In 2001, BENHA reviewed the possibility to provide senior housing leaders the national equivalent of the NAB-NHA exam, the NAB-RC/AL examination as a voluntary entry-level competency examination. The board was concerned that the exam opportunity be pertinent to its’ mission and concluded that any education or competency evaluation of health care administrators dedicated to serving Minnesota seniors was of overall benefit for the public. As of April, 2002, four states require an Assisted Living Administrators license and Minnesota was the fifth state sponsoring the exam on a voluntary basis for Minnesota residents. North Dakota, the only other Midwestern state currently involved, has provided the voluntary exam for a few years. There are no requirements for certification, registration or licensure for Assisted Living Administrators in Minnesota. All candidates that request to take the exam will be authorized. The exam cost is $260.00, paid directly to Professional Examination Services (PES). Minnesota is a sponsor state so test applicants receive a discount off the regular cost.
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